Review – The Sound of the Hours – Karen Campbell

I naturally gravitate to books set in Italy.  This one sounded interesting as I am also a fan of historical fiction and I don’t know that much about what it was like in Italy during the Second World War.

Title: The Sound of the Hours

Author: Karen Campbell

Format: ARC ebook

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing plc

About the Book:

1944, Barga.

An American soldier. An Italian girl.

Divided by loyalties. Brought together by war. 

Trapped in Tuscany as war rages along the Gothic Line, Vittoria Guidi doesn’t understand where her allegiances should lie. With her Scots-Italian father or Facsist mother? With Mussolini, or her King? With the life she wants, or is told to live?

As Germans occupy the mountains round Barga, and US Buffalo soldiers draw near, loyalties are tested and families torn apart. Frank Chapel, a young, black soldier fighting for a country that refuses him the vote, is unlike anyone Vita has met. In the chaos, they find each other–but can their growing love defy prejudice and war?


My Thoughts:

I have been reading this book over several weeks.  Reason being is that I found I needed to take a breather from the subject matter.  The book is well written.  I found myself a little bit distracted when the story changes from one story line to another.  For example to begin with you get more of a feel for Vittoria Guidi (Vita) and the setting in Barga.  Vita wants to be a teacher.  Her father supports her in this but her mother doesn’t, particularly given the current situation (i.e. war and the effect on the locals, particularly since most boys have been sent off). Vita goes to work for the village priest.

Then we have Frank Chapel who is a young black American soldier.  We meet Frank in America, as he goes off to do his training.  He is portrayed as a highly intelligent individual.

Once I got over 50% of the book read, I knew that I wanted to persist until the end.  It sure does pack an emotional punch.

The ending moved me to tears.